Italy: private labels driving growth

Date : 19 February 2018

As Leader Price Italy’s chief executive discusses the importance of the banner’s private labels ahead of its launch in the country, we look at how the ranges have boosted performance at Selex, Unes and Crai.

Leader Price spotlights ‘low cost quality’ tag

As part of an interview with Distribuzione Moderna, the chief executive of Leader Price Italy, Carlo Alberto Buttarelli, has discussed the importance of the retailer’s private labels. Leader Price Buttarelli said its ranges help it to drive differentiation with rivals and footfall from shoppers. The store’s range – of about 3,200 SKUs – is made up of 80% private label products and 20% brands. About 150 SKUs are under the Leader Price Bio label and over 100 SKUs in the cosmetics category. Initially 1,000 SKUs will be imported from France.

Buttarelli went on to say the retailer is aiming to open 30 stores by the end of 2018, with the first of these set to open in Q2, with 100 planned for 2020. Some of the stores will be converted from the Crai banner and will be a similar size to those in France, i.e. between 300 sq. m and 1,100 sq. m. He said the retailer would focus on Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto and Northern Emilia and then expand from there, through organic expansion, franchising and acquiring small chains.

Selex benefits from private label growth

Selex has said its private label ranges enjoyed growth of 6% in 2017, generating a turnover of €800m. The group said that its Saper di Sapori regional speciality and Vivi Bene health-focused ranges saw the strongest uplift in turnover at more than 15%. Selex said the success of its private label ranges in 2017 meant that their share of value sales averaged 18% across categories, with this rising to 25% at some of its members.

To sustain this growth in 2018 Selex has said it will update its core range to improve their look and feel, packaging and the visuals used. It will also continue to invest in its premium lines, like Saper di Sapori.

Unes celebrates performance in 2017

Unes’s president and chief executive, Mario Gasbarrino, announced that the retailer saw turnover grow by 4.6% in 2017. Gasbarrino said growth was driven by its private labels, especially Il Viaggiator Goloso, and its U2 supermarket format. 2017 was a record year for Il Viaggiator Goloso, which generated sales of €95m, up 63% on 2016, which has led to the opening of a third store under the same brand name. Finally, Gasbarrino said that he expected 2018 to drive even stronger growth for Il Viaggiator Goloso, with its turnover likely to reach €138m.

Crai: growth in premium and health-focused private labels

Crai has said that 2017 was a strong year for its private label ranges as well. It said this was particularly true of its premium and health-focused ranges. Crai said that in 2017 it successfully relaunched its Armonia wellness line, while elsewhere products were added to other ranges. For 2018 it said it would look to continue to evolve its offer, expanding Armonia further, while also focusing on adding products in fresh, bakery and to its ready meals ranges.

For subscribers wanting to see more of our coverage on private label, see our insight presentation on our view on the future for retailers’ own ranges.